The Priority of Wisdom
Do you remember the scene from The Little Mermaid in which Ursula the Sea Witch offers to turn Ariel, the Little Mermaid, into a human? Ariel wants to be human because she has fallen in love with Eric. But she realizes that if she does so, she will never be able to see her father and beloved sea kingdom again. To which Ursula replies,
“Life is full of tough choices, isn’t it?”
Ursula was right! Life is full of tough choices. Think of all the decisions you have already had to make today…
Should I get up right now, or hit the snooze button again?
Do I still have time for breakfast, or do I just drive through Starbucks again?
What am I going to wear today?
Should I wash my hair? I did it yesterday…or maybe a couple of days ago…
Do I really need to go to the gym today?
Where am I eating for lunch?
What am I going to do after work? Go out with friends? Stay home, watch an old movie, and share a bowl of ice cream with my cat?
So what are some decisions you are facing right now? Do they involve relationships? Family? Job? Your past? Your future? How are you going to make the decisions that are in front of you?
People use a lot of techniques when they must make a decision. Some use:
Eenie Meenie Minie Mo
Flip a coin
Astrology (Hey, what’s your sign?)
The Psychic Hotline
The Magic Eight Ball
What would Dr. Phil tell me to do?
I’ll just do what I’ve always done.
I’ll just do whatever everyone else is doing.
Most of those are OK, if you’re just trying to decide which restaurant to choose for dinner, but what if something much larger is at stake?
Should I marry this person?
Should I leave my spouse?
I’ve been offered a job in a new city? Should I take it?
Should I pursue a new career path?
Should we buy a bigger house?
How can I escape from my secret sin?
What if I’m pregnant?
I’ve begun to self-harm.
Should I tell someone about my addiction?
Loneliness is CRUSHING me!
Maybe I should take my own life…
Wow, life really is full of tough choices, isn’t it?
Over the past month I’ve been doing the “Proverbs Project” during my quiet time each morning with the Lord. Since the book of Proverbs has 31 chapters, I read the chapter that corresponds with the date. So on July 1, I read Proverbs 1. On July 2, Proverbs 2, etc…
You probably already know that the theme of Proverbs is “Wisdom,” and God is very persistent about making sure we understand the priority of it. He doesn’t just tell us to “Be wise” – He is much more forceful than that.
“…Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Proverbs 1:7
“Make your ear attentive to wisdom…” Proverbs 2:2
“…Keep sound wisdom and discretion…” Proverbs 3:21
“Acquire wisdom! Acquire understanding!” Proverbs 4:5
Throughout the entire book of Proverbs, God commands us to seek wisdom! Pursue it! Do not turn away from it!
I have learned that whenever God repeats Himself in the Bible, as He does here, I need to stop and pay Very. Close. Attention. He devoted an entire book of the Bible to this topic. This is a BIG DEAL to God!
But why? Why is God so wound up about us becoming wise?
Because our choices are ALWAYS connected to consequences. You ALWAYS reap what you sow. If you make good, wise decisions, you will reap good consequences. But the opposite is also true. Bad, unwise choices ALWAYS cause pain. This is a law that God has written into the universe. It never fails. And because He loves you so much, He wants to help you avoid as much of that pain as possible. His promise to you is, when your decisions are made using God-given wisdom, the result will be blessing, honor, good, hope, and a sure future.
Not sure what to do? Ask God. That’s a very good place to start.
(Next week – “The Path to Wisdom”)